Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic Defense League

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic Defense League June 10, 2015

defends the Church from the Magisterium and whatever it is he fears the pope might say in an upcoming encyclical. Because one’s views on climate change have somehow become as much an article of faith for conservative Catholics as they are for lefties. Everybody uses the language of faith to talk about it and the pope is already being deemed an apostate by taking the heretical (for conservatives) side of the discussion.

Me: I’m gonna wait till I actually know what Francis has to say before remarking on it, much less commanding people to ignore him in favor of whatever Rick Santorum and Bill Donohue are on about.

The silliness of all this is the “Let the sciences handle this” command from Santorum. Mr. Senator: That’s what Francis is doing. Right or wrong, he is basing his views on the “consensus of science”. That’s not always a slam dunk of course. The Church that condemned Galileo also based its arguments, in part, on the consensus of science as it stood at the time. But it has always been the custom of the Church to act provisionally in it prudential judgments on the best judgment of human beings with competency in their field. Not infallible, but generally a good idea. It’s called “prudence”. It’s a virtue. I would take more seriously those who appeal to “prudential judgment” as a rationale for ignoring the Church and pre-emptively dismissing encyclicals they have not read if they demonstrated an iota of it themselves.

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  • Irksome1

    In the future, everyone will get to be the Magisterium for 15 minutes.

  • Ken

    Following his logic couldn’t we just ignore the church on abortion on the grounds that it’s a medical procedure. I mean, the Pope isn’t a doctor so how can he say anything about that?
    According to Bill we can just pick and choose what to listen to from the church based on the academic background of the person saying it. Based on that we can pretty much ignore any social commentary by the church.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Mr. Donohue may mean well, but he’s embarrassing. Has been for years. It’s like the Catholic League is run by Yosemite Sam.

    • jay

      Please note anytime I mention the motives of a politically driven Bill Donohue to Church Representatives I am met with the sane reply. “Bill Donohue neither speaks for or represents the Catholic Church in any way.” He has a free speech wight to say whatever he wants,,,,,but he does NOT represent the Catholic Church.

      A mere reading of Bill Donohue’s releases proves him more a politically motivated hack who uses our Church or personal and Political gain.

  • Pete the Greek

    As a gun guy, I think of Donohue as the Catholic apologist version of the Texas Open Carry crowd.

    • jay

      He really is pretty much a shill for the Republican Party..

  • JM1001

    I’m gonna wait till I actually know what Francis has to say before
    remarking on it, much less commanding people to ignore him in favor of
    whatever Rick Santorum and Bill Donohue are on about.

    Well, the encyclical is reportedly entitled Laudato si; it is a phrase that reoccurs in St. Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures, which the Catechism cites when talking about the “solidarity among all creatures arising from the fact that all have the same Creator and are all ordered to his glory” (CCC 344).

    So maybe the idea of solidarity between all creatures — and their role in God’s providence — will be the major theme. The created order is inherently good, reflecting its Creator who is Goodness Itself. A couple of other possible themes:

    (1) Human beings, made in the image of God, were meant to collaborate with God in “perfecting the visible creation” (CCC 378).

    (2) However, as a result of the Fall, human beings are now afflicted with disordered desires that have corrupted our relationship with creation (CCC 377). Thus, visible creation is now “alien and hostile to man” (CCC 400) and is subject to “its bondage to decay” (Romans 8:20-21).

    Therefore, because of the Fall, a wide array of confusions about man and his relationship to creation have resulted. Modern science, for all its great achievements, unfortunately re-conceived of nature as nothing more than a storehouse of raw material for our consumption, to use however we desire, and restrained only by utilitarian considerations:

    “I am come in very truth leading to you Nature with all her children to bind her to your service and make her your slave.” — Francis Bacon, The Masculine Birth of Time

    However, once the destructiveness of this idea became apparent, certain strains of modern environmentalism instead conceived of an unbridgeable chasm between man and the rest of creation — the latter is inherently good and pure, while the former is an inherently bad and corrupting influence. But this puts man and creation in perpetual war with one another, destroying the solidarity between all creatures, which are all ordered towards God’s glory.

    I guess Francis will touch on at least some of this. Beyond that, I have no clue what he will say.

  • MT

    Indeed Mark, these arguments are so stupid and irrational.

    Even if the science denial ideas were true, would not we all want pope Francis to speak on an issue that currently guided by many who think humanity is a scourge to be removed from earth?

    Also, lol at this line:
    “Donohue then said that the pontiff is allowed to speak on other issues,
    but warned that it is unlikely that Catholics would accept his
    followings beyond “non-negotiable” issues like abortion and euthanasia.
    “No one has ever said that air pollution is intrinsically evil.”
    So I guess the teaching authority of the Church is only limited to non-negotiable issues than? Apparently saying that recklessly spewing out pollution that also has tons of bad effects on the health of all in the area addition to the CO2 is not an important moral issue.

  • staircaseghost

    “Because one’s views on climate change have somehow become as much an article of faith for conservative Catholics as they are for lefties. “

    And how much is that?

    (Also, did you notice you used “article of faith” as a term of disparagement? Modernism’s really got its hooks into people these days…)

    • chezami

      Don’t be silly. I am not making fun of *real* articles of faith. I am making fun of elevating human tradition and human wisdom to the status of the Creed. “See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. (Col 2:8).

      Somehow it has become as important to conservative to make one’s views climate change a litmus test of orthodoxy. And now people like you are declaring people “Modernists” over this silly litmus test. Insane.

  • Eve Fisher

    If the Pope has to be quiet about things like climate change, shouldn’t Rick Santorum, et al, have to be quiet, too? At least the Pope has a degree in chemistry, while Mr. Santorm is an MBA and a lawyer – neither of which give me much confidence in his scientific acumen.

    • MT

      The “the Pope should stay out of science” point from Santorum is quite ironic considering he denies legitimate science.

      It’s also dumb for people to say climate change is not a moral issue. It is a very important issue because the poor of the world are going to get whacked really hard by climate change.

      • jaybird1951

        “Climate change” is the dishonest substitute wording for “global warming.” The climate has always been changing for millions or even billions of years on this planet without human agency. Measuring the impact that industrialization will have fifty or a hundred years from now on global temperatures is at best an inexact science and pretty much guess work based on computer models that have already been shown to be wrong. Those vaunted models did not predict the 18 years of no warming we have been experiencing. The supposed “consensus” meant to silence any criticism is also bogus. I believe it would be a big mistake for Pope Francis if he decides to take sides in this debate. He should stay neutral on that issue and concentrate on general principles of a Christian based environmentalism.

  • Consensus of science would have had the Church ping ponging back and forth between geocentrism and heliocentrism. Pardon me for saying that what the Church actually did (studied neutrality and theological preparation for either side to win) was a better choice. It still is a better choice than following scientific consensus.

  • Marthe Lépine

    It seems to me that Mr. Donohue, like a lot of ill-informed Catholics, thinks that morality is only meant to be sexual morality. But he should know better. All human actions have a moral (or ethical for the secularist) dimension. I would suggest that the following is a more balanced comment about the upcoming encyclical letter:
    From: http://www.catholicregister.org/home/international/item/20387-climate-encyclical-expected-to-send-strong-moral-message-to-the-world
    Climate encyclical expected to send strong moral message to the world

    • jay

      Bill has many issues regarding sexuality/morality. And yes he should know better. – HOWEVER listening to him or reading his releases confirms he is more politically motivated than anything.

      Should you mention his name to religous leaders or representatives, the answer remains the same. Bill does not represent or speak for the Catholic Church IN ANY WAY. !!!!

  • HornOrSilk

    When you have both lungs of the Church, West and East, concerned about the problems of climate change, you know the Church is tired of the smoke of Satan destroying the earth and wants just a bit of fresh air!

  • ManyMoreSpices

    “Oooh, so Mother Nature needs a favor?! Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys! Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she’s losing. Well I say ‘hard cheese.’” –Charles M. Burns.

  • cmfe

    Bill Donohue: cafeteria Catholic.